Monday, April 03, 2006

Pack rat redux

Yesterday we went out to my parent’s house for a few hours to give them a hand with some yard work, and so I could go basement-diving again. I could write a blue streak about how stressful it is to visit my parents with a significant other, but I don’t particularly feel like getting into it. The day was amusing for me because while Lunchboy helped my father chop and stack firewood in the yard, I began sorting through a wall of boxes that have been in the basement since we moved into the house when I was 13. The term “pack rat” doesn’t quite cut it. I literally had a box for every year of my life and most of them were filled with stuff that should have been trashed or recycled long ago. My finds included but were by no means limited to:

--my first bra
--my treasured plastic link charm necklace circa 1984
--every piece of schoolwork I did during middle school
--a whole box of New Kids on the Block fan paraphernalia that I’ve been trying to erase from my memory since high school. Cassette singles? A scrapbook of newspaper clippings? Concert posters? It’s all in there.
--my old collection of books about King Arthur
--a biology scrapbook of leaves and ferns (now dessicated and crumbling), complete with notecards listing the proper Latin names, circa 9th grade
--an entire box of glass soda bottles, now full of dust and dead spiders
--the miniature ceramic shopping bag that I got as a favor at my ex-best friend’s bat mitzvah

The funny thing is, I remember putting some of those things in boxes so that I’d remember what it was like to be me when I was 13 or 16 or seven. I wanted to be able to chart my past with pieces of paper and trinkets, so that I could put my hands on my history and be able to show my children and grandchildren that I remembered what it was like to be young.

Now, I just want to get rid of clutter. I’m not sure if I’ll regret trashing as much as I did (really, who needs my math homework from 6th grade) but it felt good to do it.

3 comments:

gimpadelic said...

The great thing is that you no longer need boxes of crud to remember that stuff. All you have to do is read your blog archives...

Moxie said...

Yeah. But c'mon--you KNOW the bra would have gone over big.

Vancetastic said...

This is an epic problem for me. There was one time at my house where I decided to save a representative sample of my math homework from sixth grade. Seriously. I probably only threw away half of it in this process. I made two piles -- one keep, one trash. And I literally went through and said "One for me, one for you," like Homer Simpson sharing slurps of gas with his car.